On ‘Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyada’...
The first title that I picked for this film and the one that I really liked was Sattendru Maaruthu Vaanilai, a line from my own song. But we couldn’t get that title because someone had already registered and censored the film. I chose this title because it works for the story. It’s about one’s inner courage or the strength that comes from within you. When a difficult situation arises, which people normally run away from, there is this inner voice which tells you, ‘Don’t be afraid. Take this guy on or this moment on’. This film is about that. It is about deconstructing all the action you have seen in films so far where people handle violence so easily. In reality, it isn’t easy to do that. When a situation comes up in real life, do you have it in you to handle that moment? This film is a feel-good love story and a story of friendship. It is the story of a happy-go-lucky guy who is looking to do normal things in life but then, a situation is thrown at him and it changes everything.
Has this attitude worked for you in real life?
Completely. I mean with all the cases being thrown at us, including having to go to the police stations and stuff like that, this has worked. Everything was a learning process for me. The biggest piece of knowledge I’ve gained is anybody and everybody has money, but you need to work with the right people.
Has there ever been a situation when you have thought that stepping back would be better than taking on?
Many times, for the betterment of a lot of things, I’ve held back. Even in the Suriya issue, when a statement was issued, that was the case. Suriya and I are friends and I know what he did must have been under pressure. Yes, we were all angry initially. We wanted to take the world on but we stepped back after two hours. The statement had come at about 8 in the evening and I remember we were up till five in the morning. I got a call from a lot of journalists asking me for interviews but we just stepped back. There is fear in my film’s hero. So, even when there is a gun in his hand at one point, his hands are trembling. In real life, it’s your instinct taking over combined with fear but at the same time, you override that fear because you have to survive and take on the problem.
Why pick Simbu for this role?
He’s just outstanding as an actor. I love working with him. I know people say he comes late. Yes, but then, we also don’t start on time. Sometimes, for a 9am shoot, he’ll come by 2pm but we’ll still be able to finish shoot by 6pm because he is brilliant. He’ll make up with his acting. So, am I ready to forgive him for that? I think I am. I was happy when Selvaraghavan announced that he would be working with him because I know it’s a good combination. If you’ve seen the teaser, what he does with small expressions is something else. I’m really comfortable working with him.
How much of ‘Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada’ is over?
We have only about 20 days of work left and I’ve got all the songs from A R Rahman. There are six songs and I’ve got five. For the sixth song, Rahman will look at the film and score it. Each song is of a different genre and has beautiful lyrics. I’ve already shot four songs and will be shooting the fifth soon. We should be done by end of October. There’s a big line up of films. So, we’ll look at the line up and then list ours.